Massachusetts TV viewers faced a new onslaught of political ads as the U.S. Senate special election campaign kicked into high gear on Tuesday.
The two Democrats in the race for John Kerry's Senate seat, U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch, both released their first ads of the campaign, with Markey focusing on his support for gun control while Lynch sought to introduce himself to voters who might not be familiar with the seven-term congressman from South Boston.
Markey's ad, called "Keep Standing Up," opens with a famous clip of Charlton Heston, the late actor and president of the National Rifle Association, holding a rifle over his head and exclaiming "from my cold dead hands."
The ad then cuts to a newspaper headline from the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and says Markey has been willing to stand up to the NRA and fight for gun control measures such as a ban on Chinese exports of assault weapons to the U.S.
The longest-serving member of the state's congressional delegation, Markey has been in the House since 1976.
Lynch's ad, titled "Every Working Family," stresses his working-class background. It opens with him walking alone through the housing project where he grew up, and highlights his 18 years as a union ironworker before he earned his law degree and entered politics.
As a member of Congress, Lynch says in the ad he has learned "when to compromise and when to stay firm."
Lynch's ad was running only in the Boston TV market and other cable outlets for now, according to a campaign spokesman, and not on WCVB-TV. The campaign said earlier that it would not run ads on the station because members of a union representing camera operators, editors and technicians had been working without a new contract for nearly two years.
The station's president, Bill Fine, said Lynch was relying on "erroneous assumptions" and that there was no contract dispute with the union.
Markey's first ad is running statewide, a campaign spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, the three Republicans vying for their party's nomination for the Senate seat formerly held by Kerry are scheduled to appear together on Tuesday for the first time since the campaign began.
Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, Cohasset businessman Gabriel Gomez and Norfolk state Rep. Daniel Winslow will participate in a forum at Stonehill College.
Gomez released a new web video on Tuesday highlighting his background as a U.S. Navy SEAL and his support for term limits on members of Congress.
On Monday, Winslow released a web video stressing his fiscal conservatism.
The party primaries are set for April 30 with the special election to be held on June 25.
-- Here are the two TV ads:
This article was originally published on March 12, 2013.
This program aired on March 12, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.